Off the Charts Trip Notes – December 18, 2013

This exclusive and free feature Off the Charts Trip Notes (Dec. 18, 2013) searches out horses throughout the country who encountered some type of noteworthy trouble in their most recent start or just gave an extremely impressive performance. Please note that horses spotlighted in Off the Charts Trip Notes are never an automatic bet back, but rather runners to give a serious look at given the trips and the trouble spotted by our expert handicappers at  Horses below listed in track name order.


CHAMPAGNE TONY (Race 5@HAW, December11, 2013, 6 furlongs, Claiming $12,500) The fourth choice in the wagering left the gate and immediately shuffled back and was steadied forcing him near the back of the pack. He began to rally when the field entered the far turn but was wide throughout and entered the stretch widest of all. He made progress in the stretch and continued to close with interest finishing third a couple of lengths behind the winner.

GAMBLER FIVE (Race 6, @HAW, December 11, 2013, 6 furlongs, Allowance 2L) Part of a favored entry was slow from gate, bumped and steadied, dropping to last and running wide down the backstretch. She began to make progress in the turn despite being very wide throughout and then entered the stretch wide. Ran well and continued with good effort for a third place finish a couple of lengths from the winner.


TEQUILAWYTLIGHNIN (Race 2@LRL, December 11, 2013, 7 furlongs, Claiming $5,000) The third choice broke outward at the start and eventually moved to mid-pack. She was steadied in the middle of the turn causing a delay to her rally and was then forced to swing widest of all for the drive. She closed with determination but finishing third and missing the win by only a head.

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Remington Park

DANCE INTHE FOREST (Race 5 at RP, December 17, 2013, 5 1/2 furlongs, cl7.5-3l) Class dropper for Allen Milligan barn went six to seven wide around the far turn into the lane, and she continued on well. Finish as a distant third place finisher was much better than it looks.

Tampa Bay

SPANGLED BANNER (Race 7@TAM, December 14, 2013, Mile 40 yards, MSW) The odds on favorite was a few wide in the first turn while falling back to the rear of the field. Accelerated nicely down the backstretch but was being held up because of traffic. In the far turn she was checked and pulled back nearing the stretch with no racing room, eventually gaining freedom to run and left the field behind winning by 5 lengths, and it could have been much more.

Turf Paradise

CONTACT (Race 6@Tup, December 11, 2013, one mile turf, Maiden Claiming $30,000) The favorite broke outward and fell back to last and into the turn. Advanced up quickly down the backstretch and attempted to get through along the rail with half mile to go, but was forced to check with nowhere to go and dropped back. Swung out wide when arriving at the top of the stretch and rallied but just missed. CONTACT’s rider claimed foul for the incident near the half mile marker but the claim was disallowed.


CHAMPAGNE BUBBLES (Race 1@WO, December 11, 2013, 1 1/16 miles, Claiming $25,000) The fourth choice in the wagering bobbled and was tardy from the gate, rushed into the back of the pack in the first turn and was in tight quarters. Dropped back in turn and was then last going down the backstretch. Appeared to be in distress or did not like the kickback and was about a dozen back at the top of the stretch. She was 9 lengths back when the leaders hit the furlong marker just before she began a cyclonic and got up to win by a nose.

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Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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